Daalcha Gosht

Hyderabadi cuisine is unique, a perfect marriage between the fiery South-Indian and rich North-Indian cuisines of India. Yet, sadly there are such few records in the form of cookbooks, TV shows, magazines, newspapers, blogs or even local restaurants/eateries in the city itself that dedicate to chronicle/serve the true Nizami cuisine of Hyderabad. Only those few lucky members of the Nizam Club of Hyderabad, or people who have connections with the fellow local Hyderabadi families get to enjoy the traditional lovingly home cooked Hyderabadi meals.

clockwise from bottom right~tomatoes, opo squash, meat bones, cooked dal

Daalcha is one such true Hyderabadi preparation. The Nizami cuisine of Hyderabad is not just about Biryani and Mirchi ka Salan, or an assortment of meat concoctions unlike considered. It has to its repertoire many vegetarian and especially dal (lentil) preparations that are deeply related to the inimitable flavors of Nizami cuisine. Basically, there are two variations to daalcha, one is the vegetarian version – which can be prepared with either opo squash, eggplants or drumsticks, and the other non-vegetarian version – made by adding meat bones to the tangy tempered dal. To impress your guests, serve daalcha gosht along with baghara khana and phalli gosht, the way it is served traditionally at Hyderabadi households.

I have added a few bottlegourd pieces to Daalcha Gosht, you can skip adding them if you want only meat in the dal.

Daalcha Gosht – Lentil and Meat stew

Chanay ki Dal/Chana dal – 1 cup
Green chillies – 3, chopped
Tomatoes – 2, large, chopped
Salt – to taste
Canola Oil – 2 tbsp
Cumin seeds – 2 tsp
Curry leaves – 2 sprigs
Onion – 1/4 cup, finely sliced
Ginger-garlic paste – 1 tsp
Dry red chillies – 2, each broken into two
Lamb meat with bones/Lamb shanks – 500 gms
Red chilli powder – 1 tbsp
Salt – to taste
Turmeric powder – 1/4 tsp
BottleGourd/Opo squash/Kaddu – 1, medium sized, peeled and cut into diamond shape (optional)
Tamarind extract – 1 cup
Cilantro – 3 tbsp, finely chopped

Daalcha Gosht


1. Soak the dal for 1-2 hours in fresh cool water. Later drain the dal and rinse it in a wire mesh under running water. Add this soaked dal to a pressure cooker, pour in about 3 cups of fresh cool water, chopped green chillies, tomatoes and salt. Close the lid and pressure cook until the dal is mushy. Puree it in a blender until smooth and keep aside.
2. In a separate pressure cooker at medium high heat pour in oil and as soon as it is warm, add the cumin seeds, curry leaves, sliced onion and stir fry until the onion is lightly golden brown in color. Add ginger-garlic paste and stir fry along for a minute. Add dried red chillies, lamb bones/shanks, red chilli powder, turmeric powder and salt. Mix well. Pour in fresh cool water to cover the meat and pressure cook until the meat is tender.
3. Add bottlegourd pieces and mix well. Add little more water to cover them and again pressure cook for 1 whistle. (Skip this step if you are not adding bottlegourd)
4. Add the pureed dal mixture and mix well. Add about 2-3 cups of fresh cool water and tamarind extract to get a pouring consistency (not too thick, nor too thin) and let it come to a boil. Once boiling, simmer and let cook for 10-15 minutes. Add cilantro and stir to mix. Serve warm.


20 thoughts on “Daalcha Gosht

  1. I have trouble using tamarind since I don’t use it much, it ends up spoiling before I finish the pack. Any alternative to imli in this recipe?

  2. As Salaam Alaikum Mona,

    Thank u for such delicious recipes.. I am a delhite n my husband is from Bangalore, but we live in Qatar. Everytime I cook, he talks about hyderabadi foods. I tried some dishes, which his sister explained me on phone but each time I made mistakes n this changes the tastes. Other day I luckily found ur blog, n really m so happy that atleast now I wont miss any step. Insha Allah.

    I tried EGG BIRYANI n it turned out so delicious that my baby (20 months) n husband liked it. Now m planning to cook some more recipes insha Allah.. like – Chicken Biryani, Dalcha (his fav), Bagarah baigan, red lenthil khichdi etc.

    REQUEST – Habeebti, it will be a great pleasure if u can paste me a recipe of PEABUT CHUTNEY.. I dont know the exact name but in my inlaws’ house, they normally make this with red lenthil khichdi.

    Thank u so much once again for lovely blog, keep pasting new recipes, May Allah bless u.

    Jazak Allah Khair

    WaAlaiKumAsSalaam Azra, the recipe for peanut chutney is already posted on my blog. You can go through it from the Recipe Index on my blog.

  3. Dear Mona,

    Will be obliged if you could suggest the weight of the kaddu in weight….

    Picking up a “medium sized” one is a bit of a challenge for a neophyte for me!


  4. salam mona..recently i have started seeing ur blog and now am addicted to it…ammi use to make dalcha with khuska on fridays ohhh i used to love that ..i will surely try out this one too.yesterday i made fish gravy it was fantastic..we call it khata salan we generally add mutton to it ..fish very rearly beco nobody likes it after marriage things change so much u start accepting things very easily..i still have some left over in fridge will eat it with roti …one day old salan tatses too good.

  5. This looks so good my mouth is watering 🙂
    No garam masala? I always have one complaint , that my daalcha gosht looks dark and not very delectable. Today I will make this, inshallah it turns out good.

  6. Assalamualaikum,

    I love this website, I am a hydro student studying in Illinois. I love to cook, even though I am a guy. I really like your recipes…I usually check them out before I set to make new preparations, keep up the good work iA.

    JazakaAllah khair,

  7. I am not a Hyderabadi, but from coastal Andhra. We prefer Daalcha with Biryani. In fact Biryani for us is not complete without Daalcha. However the Dalcha made for Biryani, we dont use gosht but bones only. Obviously gosht goes to Biryani 🙂
    However as my wife is from Hyderabad, she makes a combination of Daalcha Gosht, Bagaara chawal, murgi ka khurma.
    I have noticed many people writing about gawaar ki phalli. But we have a different combination of chawal, khatti daal, gawaar ki phalli (or gawaar ki phalli gosht).

  8. Hi,Mona,Salam,I have recently started reading Your blog and feel you are doing great work!I wanted to try some of your recipes .We eat very mildly spiced food at home so I wanted to know that the spice mix especially the red chillies ,you mention should I decrease the amount or do you eat mildly spiced food too.Please let me know.

    Love Sadaf

    WaAlaikumAsSalaam Sadaf, even we prefer mildly spiced food, but in some non-veg recipes, I add a little extra red chilli powder for a good taste.

  9. Mona

    I, my kids – the whole family love dalchaa and bagara khana. I prefer it with Ganwar ki Phalli ka salam. – love it so much that my email address is dalchaa. Keep it up – you come up with the most authentic Hyderabadi pakwaan.

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